Ever since Sony unveiled five new AV receivers for the US market, back at the beginning of February, we’ve been waiting with bated breath, wondering if will we see any models launch in the UK.
Well, we now have our answer. Say hello to the Sony TA-AN1000. This AV amp is related to its US cousin, the STR-AN1000, but there are some major differences. They centre around the fact the TA-AN1000 is a UK-bound European model and has been tuned for this market. Also, it doesn't include a built-in tuner which you do get in the US equivalent, hence Sony refers to it as an AV amp and not an AV receiver.
So, the TA-AN1000 is official and it’s set to go on sale in June with a price tag of £999 (€1199) and a raft of features in tow. We've already been lucky enough to hear it in action so if you want to skip straight to the good stuff, you can head over to our Sony TA-AN1000 review. Staying? Well, allow us to run you through some of the amp's key features...
One of which is Sony’s 360 Spatial Sound Mapping, which aims to give listeners a more immersive experience by creating multiple phantom speakers around your room, in addition to the physical speakers in your speaker package.
It’s aided by Sony’s new Digital Cinema Auto Calibration IX (D.C.A.C IX) software which takes you through the amp’s set-up process and can correct the distance, angle, sound pressure and frequency response of each speaker. If you’ve got a tricky speaker placement to contend with, the Sony can compensate accordingly.
There’s Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support out of the box plus HDR 10, HLG, Dolby Vision and IMAX Enhanced are also all catered for, as is 8K content. You’ll find six HDMI 2.1 inputs and two outputs (including eARC support).
Own a compatible ‘Perfect for PS5’ Sony Bravia TV? The amp can pass through Auto HDR Tone Mapping and Auto Genre Picture Mode so your TV and PS5 can work together to provide the best gaming experience possible. If your Sony TV happens to have Acoustic Centre Sync, the amp can combine audio from the TV with audio from your centre speaker for a more seamless experience.
The Sony TA-AN1000 also boasts high-res audio support and native DSD playback, should you have access to compatible tracks. Streaming smarts are also included, with Bluetooth, Spotify Connect, Chromecast and Apple AirPlay 2 all supported. With low-quality files, users can take advantage of Sony's built-in DSEE Ultimate engine which uses AI to improve the fidelity of low-quality digital audio files. The TA-AN1000 is also the first Sony product to boast ‘Works With Sonos’ compatibility so you can slide the amp into any existing Sonos multi-room set-up and use the Sonos S2 app as a controller.
Under the hood of the TA-AN1000, you’ll find all manner of uprated components including a newly designed heat sink, power transformer and resistors. There’s also a new digital section where all digital signal processing is done on a single chip, while a new IC (Integrated Circuit) chip is used in the pre-amplifier section to reduce noise and promote a more natural, atmospheric sound.
Sony’s had some great success with its home cinema amplifiers in the past, not least with the multi-Award-winning STR-DN1080, a budget AV receiver that dominated the category until only a few years ago. Can the new model pick up where the 1080 left off, admittedly at a more premium price point?
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Read our Sony STR-DN1080 review